Granger Smith Is Leaving Country Music

He shared the news in an emotional video.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

April 11, 2023


11:49 am

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Photo Courtesy Granger Smith

Granger Smith announced that he is leaving Country music to become a minister. 

The 43-year-old singer/songwriter took to social media on Tuesday (April 11) to share the news with his fans via an emotional video message. 

“This message is so difficult to post,” he wrote in the caption of the clip. ”The words for this caption are so hard to find. Not because I don’t believe in the truth of them, but because this marks the end of the longest era in my life! Touring…24 years of it.”

Farewell Tour

Granger Smith; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Granger Smith; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Smith went on to explain that his upcoming tour, dubbed the Like A River Tour, will now serve as his farewell tour. 

The trek will kick off on April 13 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and will run through August 26, where the Like A River Tour will wrap up with back-to-back shows in his home stage of Texas.

”This summer will be my last tour. I am so encouraged and hopeful and excited and joyful about the next chapter, but to a large extent, I have no idea what it will look like,” Smith continued. ”I just want to glorify God the best way that I can. I want to learn and grow and serve my local church and allow my pastors to equip and affirm those next steps. Lord willing, I want to be used to help people find their purpose.”

Emotional Video Message

In the clip, Smith admitted that he has been “so nervous” to announce this next chapter of his life. 

“I have felt a strong desire to pursue ministry, and this doesn’t mean I’m going to start a church or a crusade or a revival,” Smith shared in the four-minute video. “This means that me and my family are going to serve our local church. I’m going to pour into that church as members and have my pastors and elders pour into me and disciple me and teach me as I sit under their wise teaching. And then, Lord willing, one day they can affirm me into the next steps of what that might look like to glorify God best From my platform, I’ve also been attending seminary.”

While he is admittedly nervous, he is also “excited” to pour himself into the church when he returns home from his final tour.

Granger Smith; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Granger Smith; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Will Bring His Family On The Road

“Being a musician was never a prison, but this is a new passion, a new focus, a new direction that I believe is going to allow me to focus more on individual people and their lives, which is ultimately why I started music touring in the very beginning,” he told PEOPLE. “This is an even more micro-focused position in that. I’m not going anywhere.”

The Texas native plans to bring his wife and children, London, 11, Lincoln, 9, and Maverick, 20 months, on tour as much as possible in an effort to introduce them to that part of his life. 

“Mav still hasn’t been to a show, so he’ll get to go on the last weekend of me touring,” he explained to People. “We’ll take pictures, and he won’t remember it, but we’ll show him one day and say, ‘Look, Daddy was a country music singer.’”

Book Coming This Fall

This fall, Smith will release his first book, Like A River, which documents his family’s life after the tragic loss of their son, River, who passed away when he drowned in their pool in June of 2019. 

“I don’t want the tour to end and then all of a sudden, ‘Oh, now he’s got a book,’” he told People. “I just want it to be very cohesive to the sentimental side of what this journey has meant — not even river in terms of my son, River, but just the life river that we’re traveling right now. I feel like these last few years I’ve really learned to surrender and just go with the flow and stop fighting against the stream that I did for so long in the music business and in life.”

Throughout his career, Smith released 10 studio albums, one live album, and two EPs. His major label debut, Remington, arrive on March 4, 2016, via Wheelhouse Records. The singer’s biggest chart success came with the release of “Backroad Song,” which hit No.1 on the country radio chart. The follow-up single, “If The Boot Fits,” peaked at No.6 on the country radio airplay chart. 

“Backroad Song”

YouTube video

Granger Smith is also known to perform under the alter ego Earl Dibbles Dr. He has released several songs as Earl Dibbles Dr and often goes into character while on stage.    

According to People, Smith will continue to host his iHeartRadio show, After MidNite, as well as his Granger Smith Podcast.  

“These next six months will probably be the busiest of my entire life,” Smith told the outlet. “I have a lot on my plate, but I love it.”

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.